After a few months of dipping my toes in the water with the Sony a7R II, I finally sold both it and my Canon 5D Mark IV and consolidated with the a7R III recently. It's a top-notch camera that can excel in almost any genre, but it's still lacking in one area: the menu system. This video examines why a lot of pros aren't fond of Sony menus and how they can be improved.
There is a reason people say that your price range usually determines what kind of clients you attract, and this also often holds true for photography workshops, not just for weddings or photoshoots. I found this out in the hard way; I burned out, made hardly any profit, sometimes even loss. So, how did I end up in this situation and why did I keep going instead of learning from my mistakes early on?
We live in the Information Age. There is no doubt a ton of information on the Internet about photography and just about any other subject you’d care to know about. While the Internet is a great place to learn and e-books are convenient, there’s still something special about holding a printed book in your hand. I have e-books and printed books alike. For me personally, I notice that I’m more inclined to actually read a book if I’m not reading it on a screen. I prefer to put away my backlit digital devices in favor of reading a printed page. With that out of the way, I’d like to talk about five books that have helped shape my business as a professional photographer.
Would you agree that no one likes the idea of the slimy used car salesman? Have you ever stopped to think about and analyze why no one likes that person? It's because that person has no vested interest in the product they're are selling or the people they are selling to. He or she has no interest in the customer or in the car. As a photographer, how do make money selling a service and product to your customers while never treating them like the car salesman would? The answer is pretty simple: take time to find the products that you're actually passionate about and then share that passion with your clients.
New and shiny gear from Apple is always good looking and always sounding good on paper. We've seen lots of paid reviews on various products of theirs and lots of boring laboratory benchmarks showing soulless numbers we had to believe in. How about ditching all that and making a real-world test in workflows that demand a good amount of hardware resources? You guessed it: video processing. The guys from cinema5D got an iMac Pro and decided to see if it could get the work done better than what they already had.
I’ve pondered posting this article since I started writing for Fstoppers over a year ago, but it never seemed right. I thought about sharing the story on Veteran’s Day, on Memorial Day, on either the anniversary of my friend’s birth or of his death. None of these timings ever seemed right. Maybe that’s because it was still so fresh in my heart. Maybe I felt like it was too personal to share. But I figure it’s a story that needs to be told, especially on the heels of President Trump’s signature on an order that aims to improve mental health options for our brothers and sisters returning home from the “playground of war.”
As I set up to shoot an assignment last week, I found myself in a casual conversation with the owner of the location. He was also a photographer, and as I opened my Pelican case and began to set up my strobes, he commented on the fact that he owned the same one. He then lamented the fact that this particular kit was no longer made by the manufacturer. It had been discontinued and replaced by a new line of photographic debutants. I had no idea.
One of the toughest personal self-searching processes a photographer will go through is defining their style. Many of us will latch on to a composition or a color palette, sometimes by accident, that isn't really defining but is a part of our learning process as photographers. Eventually we learn what we like or value in a photograph and as we create, this becomes our style. But, can you define your style and explain it to someone else or even yourself?
For landscape photographers, a tripod is essential tool for creating those amazing photos showing the movement of rivers and streams. When the dynamic range of a composition is in the double digits, a sturdy tripod will help to blend bracketed images in post. Also, for those who want to create incredibly large panoramas or nighttime imagery, the tool kit begins with an excellent tripod. Zion National Park has become even more restrictive for 2018 and removed the ability for photographers in workshops from using any tripods on any trails within the park.
I think we all tend to figure out, one way or another, what works specifically for us as individual photographers. There are some styles that I simply don't shoot, some subjects that simply don't interest me, and elements that I simply would not put together for a shoot. I don't know about the rest of you, but I have many times found myself in a creative rut. You know, that mental state where you can think through the mechanics of most your shoots and it's just not as interesting as it has been in the past?
Evan Ranft is a freelance photographer and short-form video maker based out of Atlanta, Georgia. While he has only been shooting professionally for a short time in the grand scheme of things, he has amassed quite the client base by shooting for brands such as Clif Bar, Mountain Dew, and Budweiser. Through his four years of shooting he has learned many things but in this video, he breaks down the three biggest mistakes he has made throughout his career.
Intentional or not, there’s a substantial amount of messaging that occurs when you create a “Top 100” of anything. The International Society of Professional Wedding Photographers released their list of the Top 100 Wedding Photographers in the World, and when you scroll down the list you’ll notice there’s a group that’s incredibly under-represented: women.
I think that it is fair to say that photographers have probably been doing bad things to public lands, popular landmarks, and other natural resources since around the time that the camera was invented. There’s no way to keep ignorant people from acting irresponsibly. But, with the power of the crowd and the reach of social media, photographers need to think twice before staging shooting sessions that could result in damage.
At CES 2018, DJI released details of the Ronin-S, a one handed gimbal system with modular add-ons for creative filmmaking. This is already a crowded market, with Zhiyun-Tech and Moza offering some of our favorite options, but given DJI’s proven track record of building top class gimbals, should you wait for the Ronin-S before investing in a new one-handed gimbal system?